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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Comment from E-mail:
I was looking through my old Nintendo power magazine's when I came across one from January 1991. I took a look inside at the player's pulse and I saw Steve "Mr. T" Wozniak from Los Gatos, CA wrote a letter. I read it over and you got some pretty impassive scores. You said you got a high score on the Concorde between London and New York...I thought you weren't suppose to use electronic devices on a planes because of interference? There is also a picture of you in here. Can I have permission to scan in the article and put it up on the web? By the way my line record is 204.

Woz:
I was listed with high Tetris scores many times in Nintendo Power magazine. I also sent letters showing how I'd given GameBoys to Gorbachev and Bush. The latter was seen playing one shortly thereafter on TV in a hospital after a heart problem. It got to the point that Nintendo Power wouldn't list my name again so I sent in a score photo and used the name "Evets Kainzow" which is both my names backwards. When I got the next issue and flipped to see if anyone had beaten my high score, I saw this name but forgot having sent it in. I was worried that someone was close to me. I noticed that he had a foreign sounding name and that he lived in Saratoga, the next city over. Then I realized that it was my own trick. [RE Permission: Usually the magazine owns rights to photos lke that]

Comment from E-mail:
Thank You for Apple Computer he subject says it all, thank you for creating Apple Computer. I just can't thank you enough, I hope that you can thank Steve jobs as well. But you know, doubt that will happen. Without Apple Computer I honestly think that the world could have been 1984. Apple is revolutionary and true to it's goal, Thinking Different. Thanks Again.

Woz:
I'm glad that you're so happy with the world today. I'm glad that Steve and I helped take it in some good directions for normal people too. I would think that if you wrote to Steve at Apple (you may have to call them to find out which email to use) he'd at least hear of it as a positive note. You might be surprised and get a reply too.

Comment from E-mail:
Dear Steve. Some years ago I talked to your mother and she said that on her side your heritage was German. However your name is Ukrainian and I wonder if you could confirm this. I want to add you to an article I am writing called the Ukrainian Hall of Fame which includes Korolev (first ICBM, sent Sputnik into space, Sikorsky father of Helicopter, Holonyak inventor of the LED, Andy Warhol pop artist Jack Palance actor, Peter Tchaikovsky composer etc. Ukraine built first computer in Europe.

Woz:
The name Wozniak (or similar) is acknowledged to me often as being common in Poland and the Balkans. My mother's family came from Germany. My father's family came from Poland. I think this is accurate. Either family might have come from the other country, or near the border.

I experience strong feelings when visiting Poland. I sort of wish that I were Ukranian or nearby. Those people seem the most like Americans, like myself, out of all Europeans. I do have to confess that some emergency clothing that I had to buy in Poland fit me to a 'T'.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi, recently I have liked Macs more than ever, I have changed my platform, and now I have a PowerMac G4, I have been looking at some Mac sites and the web site www.apple-history.com is a very good resource, I was looking at that site and it mentioned that Steve Jobs only makes $1.00/year - do you think this is true?

Woz:
Steve was recently given a $40M plane and abut $1B in stock options by the company. He deserves a large compensation but this large of one dilutes people's good impressions of Steve. Nobody really believed that he'd wind up with $1 per year anyway.

Comment from E-mail:
Mr. Wozniak I am currently 13 years old. I saw the movie of Pirates of Silicon Valley. I thought it was very interesting. I am also currently reading the book fire in the valley the book in which the movie was based on. I personally am amazed about how 4 people jobs, you, gates, Allen changed the world forever! I am seeing how IBM was like god. But some how it was managed to be beaten despite it's size. Like all those companies today. You men did this by thinking of the ideas for computers for regular people. You appealed to a new market. I believe I have found what is important in my life and what I want to do despite my age. I would like to work in the field of computers and the "business" of it. But like you guys were I feel overwhelmed by the shear size of what I am going to need to overcome. I want to change the way people think and work with computers. But when I take a step back. Ooops. To late, buddy! The revolution has started without you. Your too late. Someone has already dove what you want to do! Now I sit here and am thinking about the future. I asked many people about what I just asked you. They do not quite seem to understand as well as I want them too. So I will ask the best. I person who has been there and done that. Now I know you receive over 200 e-mails a day. Written by people who deserve a response just as much as me. But I ask you to seriously think about what you reply with. Because it is very very important to me. I want to know what is this I am thinking. Has this ever happened to you? How do I overcome it? Can I? I it true there is no more room for the great innovation from the step to bringing computers to regular people? Thank You

Woz:
I never once had this sort of problem. I never thought about ways to change the world or do great things or become famous or make a lot of money. I just did what I loved and what I was good at as well as anyone could. I didn't even think that I'd work in computers when I went to college, it's true. I figured that I'd be a normal engineer of the earlier type. There are always new things that become hot and valuable. Just don't choose to do something for the wrong reasons and wind up not having fun.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi! My name is Dan and I'm from Vermont. I'm 11 years old. You're my idol. Nice website! My friends and I made our own blue box, and you just hold it up to the mike on the phone! I've been running a software company for a while, and we're partnering with another "kid-run" company to make our own computer! We're going to use the Linux kernal. What are you doing these days? How did you make your first computer? I'd be interested to know. Thanks for your time, mister Woz.

Woz:
There's no safe place to use a blue box. The greatest safety you have is your young age - you'll be treated less like criminals and can probably clean up your record after you get caught. If you don't get caught it's only because the local phone company doesn't care.

Here's an idea: only use the blue box to show off things but not to make calls of your own that you'd pay for. It's hard to say that if you make local calls on a blue box you are even depriving anyone of anything, since the phone lines would have been in use anyway from your home for this 'free' call.

Sounds like you're on a good track with computers.

These days I'm mostly answering email.

Comment from E-mail:
I live in Sydney, & we have a museum here called the "Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences", a.k.a. the Powerhouse. They have an excellent display of early PCs, e.g. Altair, etc. And, they have an Apple that the display claims is "the" first Apple, as built by you. I find it a little surprising that it's here, of all places. It says "on loan from Apple". It could be one of the other original builds though. Have you heard about this?

Anyway thanks again, and best wishes to you & your family, & keep up your good work.


Woz:
I had one handwired Apple I and one handwired Apple ][. I lost one of them but I never gave it to Apple or anyone else.


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